The Lego Ninjago Movie: Movie Review

Back in 2014, "The Lego Movie" caught the world by surprise with its risky yet fresh take on the family film genre. But three years after and now with the third film in the Lego franchise, "The Lego Ninjago Movie" feels like the same old story just with a splash of kung-fu coating to keep things fresh. Thre's no denying that "The Lego Ninjago Movie" is still highly-entertaining and a fun watch for both kids and adults alike but it is also disappointing that the risky surprise that made the first film was seriously missing.

The battle for Ninjago City calls to action young Lloyd (Dave Franco), aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret warriors and LEGO Master Builders. Led by kung fu master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux) who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and be a team to unleash their true power and save the citizen of Ninjago City from doom.
"The Lego Ninjago Movie", at its core and most importantly, is a fun movie to watch. The visuals are colorful, vibrant and punchy. The soundtrack was relevant to what's happening on screen and had a good mix of old and new songs. The comedy was a barrage of non-stop one-liners that mostly hit the mark. The film, like Lego movies before it, is a well-balanced film in terms of amusing a wide spectrum of audiences. But sadly, "The Lego Ninjago Movie" fails to make any headway in the narrative department. This film feels eerily-familiar to "The Lego Movie" to say the least. It's the same basic story of finding one's purpose, finding redemption, and defeating a foe. It also features an "ultimate weapon" and even its antagonist, Garmadon, feels like a carbon copy of Lord Business. There are still some surprises though like what the ultimate weapon does but those few and far between. Additionally, while we loved the cast of characters, we feel that this concentrates heavily on the Green Ninja solely. It all ties up in the end but knowing how great the voice cast was, it feels underwhelming not really knowing the other members of the Secret Ninja Force were. Overall, "The Lego Ninjago Movie" is still an entertaining watch but this also marks a serious red flag for the Lego franchise that the formula that made it a surprise hit is getting stale fast.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- gags and jokes abound ensures that this film will tickle your funny bone from start to finish
- punchy and colorful visuals

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the formula that made the franchise successful is getting old
- this feels like a carbon copy of "The Lego Movie"

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